Author Elizabeth Garber to speak about her memoir ‘Sailing at the Edge of Disaster’

BELFAST — Left Bank Books and the Belfast Free Library invite the public to celebrate the launch of Elizabeth Garber’s memoir Sailing at the Edge of Disaster: A Memoir of a Young Woman’s Daring Year on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 7 pm, at the library.

Garber’s talk will be recorded and available to view on BCTV and the library’s YouTube Channel.

In 1971, Garber’s domineering father announced he was sending his “problem children” — seventeen-year-old bookish Elizabeth and her fourteen-year-old brother Woodie — to a school on a sailing ship, so they would “shape up and learn to work.”

Sailing at the Edge of Disaster: A Memoir of a Young Woman’s Daring Year is the story of Garber’s time on board a once-majestic yacht-turned-sailing school along with her brother and 50 high school misfits. They have no idea what dangers await them. They learn to splice, climb the rigging, and survive an act of piracy, a storm at sea, a near-sinking, and being held hostage for two weeks by armed gun boats in Panama. The book chronicles a transformative year in the throes of late adolescence that leads to courage, grace, and a reclamation of selfhood.

Garber’s memoir follows the journey of Oceanics School students and faculty as they motor their limping ship — the once-magnificent yacht formerly owned by General Post heiress, socialite, and philanthropist Marjorie Merriweather Post — out of Miami to begin their grand itinerary charismatic 25- year-old school director envisioned. As the voyage unfolds, Garber discovers the rigors, joys, and triumphs of being at sea. Her book chronicles a transformative year in the throes of late adolescence that leads to courage, grace, and a reclamation of selfhood.

Garber is also the author of Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect’s Daughter, three books of poetry, and Maine (Island Time), a collaboration of her poetry with paintings and photographs of Michael Weymouth. Her essays and excerpts have appeared in Salon, Maine Homes, Johns Hopkins Magazine, and her poems have been included in several journals and anthologies.

She received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Program, was awarded writing fellowships at Virginia Center for Creative Arts and Jentel Artist Residency, and received a BA in Humanities from Johns Hopkins and a Masters in Acupuncture from the Traditional Acupuncture Institute. She has maintained a private practice as an acupuncturist for nearly forty years in Midcoast Maine, where she raised her family.

Reservations are strongly recommended for this free event, according to Left Bank Books, in a news release. Reservations can be made by calling (207.338.9009) or emailing Left Bank Books (info@leftbankbookshop).

The Belfast Free Library is located in downtown Belfast at 106 High Street. Copies of Sailing at the Edge of Disaster: A Memoir of a Young Woman’s Daring Year, which go on sale on the day of the event, are available now for pre-order at the bookshop.

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